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Old 07-19-2014, 11:17 PM
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Buddhism

A couple of times I have read people mentioning Buddhism or Buddhist principles as influencing their recovery, for me it defiantly has and I think it was Soberlicious who brought it up in a thread not long ago. I would love to hear peoples experience with buddhism and mindfulness practice. Who have influenced you? Do you see these the same way I do as very much secular and not religious?
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:03 AM
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Soberlicious knows the stuff it appears to me..wonderful writings.

I live in a Buddhist country (will 95% Buddhist) and have a Buddhist wife too. But it's be who likes to hang out at the temples...just sit and be...it's so nice. Not sure all the going ons in the Temples....it's not a religion so I just go with the flow and what feels good. Not ever sure what to do at the Temple...so like I say...just sit and be peaceful.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:41 AM
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Buddhists do not consider Buddha a deity and they do not worship him. They study and revere hos teachings and the way he lived. I suppose some could call this religious, but I don't.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:31 AM
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I've noticed that I read a lot of Buddhist stuff during the darker periods of my life. There's something about the four noble truths that speak to me. Maybe because I relate to the idea that life is "suffering" and that this suffering is the result of impermanence and our attachment to things, concrete or conceptual. I also like the emphasis on compassion.

My attraction to it is purely on a philosophical level. Despite the fact that many people don't think of it as a religion, I can introduce you to some people in Taiwan who might change your mind. I had an experience there a few years ago where a couple of Buddhists were just as dogmatic and pushy as any other religious folk. Another person there told me that if I ever found myself in trouble, to chant something (I forget what exactly) and I would be protected. By Buddha? This wasn't made clear to me. So yeah, it's a religion in some places. Granted, the Buddhism there has a lot of other influences; it's full of superstitions that I'm pretty sure weren't part of Buddha's teachings.

I don't think it has directly helped in my recovery, other than some of the methods I use are rooted in mindfulness.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:02 AM
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Its strange isnt it, anything can become a religion, going from non judgmental contemplation to dogmatic conclusions can and does blindside almost everyone. I personally like what Pema Chodron has to say about suffering and I am a big fan of Stephen Bachelor. I have been on a few Buddhist silent retreats mainly from Chinese tradition and really got a shock at how much Chatter there is in my head.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:19 AM
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Yes, it's a recognized religion. Fourth or fifth largest in the world, depending on who you ask.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:49 AM
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It may be recognized as a religion, but the Buddhism (Shambhala, derived from Tibetan Buddhism) I practice is not self-defined as a religion. It is a philosophy and way of life.

The writings and teachings of Pema Chodron and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche have drastically altered the way I look at myself, recovery and life in general. Meditation has allowed me to open my heart and become gentle with myself and others (most of the time!). It's also taught me that NOTHING is permanent. Nothing. That has been hard to accept, but learning to live in the moment has made it easier. Letting go of the idea that I can control everything has been a tough road. Humans like to avoid pain at all costs. Sitting with pain and allowing myself to look at it with curiosity and compassion has changed my worldview in a way that I just cannot express in words. It is not for the faint of heart. There are phases I go through where I cry daily about my own suffering and the suffering of others in the world. They don't last forever, and the armor that surrounds my heart becomes closer to being removed every time I allow myself to feel these things instead of running away from them.

Putting out positive energy and having more compassion for others really can change the world. I've realized that the little things we do to help others has a domino effect, and that's certainly not a bad thing, is it?

There's also a "Heart of Recovery" meeting that I attend weekly. It is open to anyone struggling with addiction and is not 12-step based. It's 20 minutes of sitting meditation, followed by 5 minutes walking meditation, a reading, discussion, and about 7 minutes of meditation to close, followed by tea and snacks. The discussions are powerful and eye-opening in a way that AA just never was for me. People talk about their meditaiton experience, the reading or really anything that's going on with them.

Meditating with others also makes the experience much different than doing it alone. It's tough to settle in when you're alone because you allow yourself to be distracted much more easily, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. There is something to be said for a room full of humans sitting quietly together. Our society is so loud, fast and obnoxious today. Learning to slow down and disconnect has made a huge difference in my life. When I feel angry or anxious I now turn to meditation instead of booze, thinking, "this is never going to work". It usually does.

Jeez, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share what I know about Buddhism. Thanks for listening.

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Old 07-20-2014, 06:54 AM
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Remaining Calm

Excellent readerbaby71!

The 2nd paragraph above synchronizes quite well with the superb concept that freshstart57 posted recently re: being Sober in the moment. Break it down. No need to even stress out about remaining sober 'til night time, or any other future, arbitrary point. Just stay sober that proverbial femto-second. I sure don't sweat Sobriety now. It's just not a battle if one side never shows up to fight [the side that wants to drink again].

We were married in a Buddhist Church in a small Agricultural Community. Ag had attracted Asians several Decades ago. One Cultural thing led to another, including establishing this Church.

The Colorado Shambhala Center is on the way to our Mountain House. I'll try to make a point to swing by this Shambhala and check it out.

One of the toughest lil 'exercises' I've used is just sit still and imagine a burning Candle. Keep the Flame still in your Mind, and not moving in an imaginary breeze. Challenging. To me, anyway. Yes, there is an extreme amount of Signal-to-Noise, as we say in the Radio World, in our Lives. Calm can lead to a state where external 'Medication' is not required. Personally, I can't/won't chase external solutions to Inner Calm, be they innumerable Meetings, or invisible, external forces. These 'Heart of Recovery' Meetings sound like the only Meetings I'd be interested in attending.

These beliefs are why I lean into Buddhism.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:10 AM
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I'm with readerbaby on this - more later
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:21 AM
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I have read a little about Buddhism since I started recovery, I belong to a Unitarian congregation and it had a small buddhist temple on the same property and they speak at the gatherings and have a lot of functions that I attend. It (the lit, the functions and the meager attempt at meditation) has really helped me in recovery. I haven't pursued learning more because I am fairly busy between work and service commitments, but it is something I would like to pursue when I'm not as busy.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:07 PM
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[QUOTE="MesaMan;4790541These beliefs are why I lean into Buddhism.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your answers, great stuff.
That phrase" Lean into"represents much of how I try and approach recovery and life. And impermanence So So important to me "thanks readerbaby".
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:41 PM
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One very interesting concept in Buddhism (also Hinduism) is Maya, or the idea that 'life is an illusion'.

I find it interesting that research in Quantum physics provides some evidence for this. The "observer effect" has shown that we change the nature of reality simply by observation.

Reminds me of a bumper sticker. It said, "Don't believe everything you think".
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Stewart888 View Post
Soberlicious knows the stuff it appears to me..wonderful writings. I live in a Buddhist country (will 95% Buddhist) and have a Buddhist wife too. But it's be who likes to hang out at the temples...just sit and be...it's so nice. Not sure all the going ons in the Temples....it's not a religion so I just go with the flow and what feels good. Not ever sure what to do at the Temple...so like I say...just sit and be peaceful.






Thanks Stewart, Both my brothers partners are from Thailand, they are also Buddhists, but they tend to keep it private. Is the peaceful stuff important too you, how does it feel? I love chanting just listening, does any of that happen in the tenple?
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Taking5 View Post
Buddhists do not consider Buddha a deity and they do not worship him. They study and revere hos teachings and the way he lived. I suppose some could call this religious, but I don't.

Hi Taking5 i hear you, do you read stuff yourself on the teachings, like some of the philosophies? By the way I am intrigued on your cybername I am kind of thinkng it has a message of " chillout"
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by NightsWatch View Post
I've noticed that I read a lot of Buddhist stuff during the darker periods of my life. There's something about the four noble truths that speak to me. Maybe because I relate to the idea that life is "suffering" and that this suffering is the result of impermanence and our attachment to things, concrete or conceptual. I also like the emphasis on compassion. My attraction to it is purely on a philosophical level. Despite the fact that many people don't think of it as a religion, I can introduce you to some people in Taiwan who might change your mind. I had an experience there a few years ago where a couple of Buddhists were just as dogmatic and pushy as any other religious folk. Another person there told me that if I ever found myself in trouble, to chant something (I forget what exactly) and I would be protected. By Buddha? This wasn't made clear to me. So yeah, it's a religion in some places. Granted, the Buddhism there has a lot of other influences; it's full of superstitions that I'm pretty sure weren't part of Buddha's teachings. I don't think it has directly helped in my recovery, other than some of the methods I use are rooted in mindfulness.

Me too Nightwatch those terms speak to me, there is something real about them, almost like a gentle but firm pragmatism.
You mentioned darker periods, is that like when your consumed by something and you direct your mind to impermanence almost immediately the anxiety you feel "that this will never end" gets a tiny bit less Knowing that things don't last?

Yes about the Religion... I have read somewhere about militant buddhists harming others, it maybe Nepal, may you have heard of that?
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by readerbaby71 View Post
It may be recognized as a religion, but the Buddhism (Shambhala, derived from Tibetan Buddhism) I practice is not self-defined as a religion. It is a philosophy and way of life. The writings and teachings of Pema Chodron and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche have drastically altered the way I look at myself, recovery and life in general. Meditation has allowed me to open my heart and become gentle with myself and others (most of the time!). It's also taught me that NOTHING is permanent. Nothing. That has been hard to accept, but learning to live in the moment has made it easier. Letting go of the idea that I can control everything has been a tough road. Humans like to avoid pain at all costs. Sitting with pain and allowing myself to look at it with curiosity and compassion has changed my worldview in a way that I just cannot express in words. It is not for the faint of heart. There are phases I go through where I cry daily about my own suffering and the suffering of others in the world. They don't last forever, and the armor that surrounds my heart becomes closer to being removed every time I allow myself to feel these things instead of running away from them. Putting out positive energy and having more compassion for others really can change the world. I've realized that the little things we do to help others has a domino effect, and that's certainly not a bad thing, is it? There's also a "Heart of Recovery" meeting that I attend weekly. It is open to anyone struggling with addiction and is not 12-step based. It's 20 minutes of sitting meditation, followed by 5 minutes walking meditation, a reading, discussion, and about 7 minutes of meditation to close, followed by tea and snacks. The discussions are powerful and eye-opening in a way that AA just never was for me. People talk about their meditaiton experience, the reading or really anything that's going on with them. Meditating with others also makes the experience much different than doing it alone. It's tough to settle in when you're alone because you allow yourself to be distracted much more easily, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. There is something to be said for a room full of humans sitting quietly together. Our society is so loud, fast and obnoxious today. Learning to slow down and disconnect has made a huge difference in my life. When I feel angry or anxious I now turn to meditation instead of booze, thinking, "this is never going to work". It usually does. Jeez, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share what I know about Buddhism. Thanks for listening. About Shambhala - Vision, Lineage, Meditation, Community
Dont apologize I have read your post a couple of times its very exciting to me.

I am guessing you have read "When things fall apart" Its one of those books that changed me towards trying recovery a little differently, Not forcing the issue but observing myself and my many crazy ways (mostly dysfunctional) I also learnt about not fighting, avoiding or indulging when thoughts and feelings arise but sitting calmly and looking at the ebb and flow.

Its great stuff you have a mindfulness based recovery meeting , How long have you been going? When your with others you mentioned its different, can you expand on that a little, I would be grateful.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
Excellent readerbaby71! The 2nd paragraph above synchronizes quite well with the superb concept that freshstart57 posted recently re: being Sober in the moment. Break it down. No need to even stress out about remaining sober 'til night time, or any other future, arbitrary point. Just stay sober that proverbial femto-second. I sure don't sweat Sobriety now. It's just not a battle if one side never shows up to fight [the side that wants to drink again]. We were married in a Buddhist Church in a small Agricultural Community. Ag had attracted Asians several Decades ago. One Cultural thing led to another, including establishing this Church. The Colorado Shambhala Center is on the way to our Mountain House. I'll try to make a point to swing by this Shambhala and check it out. One of the toughest lil 'exercises' I've used is just sit still and imagine a burning Candle. Keep the Flame still in your Mind, and not moving in an imaginary breeze. Challenging. To me, anyway. Yes, there is an extreme amount of Signal-to-Noise, as we say in the Radio World, in our Lives. Calm can lead to a state where external 'Medication' is not required. Personally, I can't/won't chase external solutions to Inner Calm, be they innumerable Meetings, or invisible, external forces. These 'Heart of Recovery' Meetings sound like the only Meetings I'd be interested in attending. These beliefs are why I lean into Buddhism.
Thanks Mesaman,

Being Sober in the moment. I feel the same, as may know I was gambling addict, so its probably being addiction free in the moment. You mentioned the sitting still and the challenge it was, can you describe that a bit more for me, like was like your mind firing and dragging you away or was it physical fidgety stuff? or something else?
I would be very grateful to hear more of your experience I will repeat what I said earlier I love the word "lean" it has that kind of not fighting or indulging or hold onto quality, but still remains a word that represents a gentle but dynamic attention.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Tamerua View Post
I have read a little about Buddhism since I started recovery, I belong to a Unitarian congregation and it had a small buddhist temple on the same property and they speak at the gatherings and have a lot of functions that I attend. It (the lit, the functions and the meager attempt at meditation) has really helped me in recovery. I haven't pursued learning more because I am fairly busy between work and service commitments, but it is something I would like to pursue when I'm not as busy.
Thanks Tamerua, can you tell me more about Your congregation. Do some of your beliefs fit well with the buddhist principles, which ones stand out for you. I personally am an Atheist but I am very keen to hear how others make sense of the world especially through a recovery lens.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
One very interesting concept in Buddhism (also Hinduism) is Maya, or the idea that 'life is an illusion'. I find it interesting that research in Quantum physics provides some evidence for this. The "observer effect" has shown that we change the nature of reality simply by observation. Reminds me of a bumper sticker. It said, "Don't believe everything you think".

Thanks for that Awah,

I read a little bit about that Quantum thing as well. Do you have your fav author on the subject.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:53 AM
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I'm not religious but I do have an admiration for Buddhism. I think they're onto a few things like the root of suffering being desire and they need to understand impermanence. Compassion is a religion unto itself and would be a very worthwhile philosophy to live by. We are all dying, so we must be kind to everyone.
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